ATP/ADP translocases: a common feature of obligate intracellular amoebal symbionts related to Chlamydiae and Rickettsiae

J Bacteriol. 2004 Feb;186(3):683-91. doi: 10.1128/jb.186.3.683-691.2004.

Abstract

ATP/ADP translocases catalyze the highly specific transport of ATP across a membrane in an exchange mode with ADP. Such unique transport proteins are employed by plant plastids and have among the prokaryotes so far only been identified in few obligate intracellular bacteria belonging to the Chlamydiales and the Rickettsiales. In this study, 12 phylogenetically diverse bacterial endosymbionts of free-living amoebae and paramecia were screened for the presence of genes encoding ATP/ADP transport proteins. The occurrence of ATP/ADP translocase genes was found to be restricted to endosymbionts related to rickettsiae and chlamydiae. We showed that the ATP/ADP transport protein of the Parachlamydia-related endosymbiont of Acanthamoeba sp. strain UWE25, a recently identified relative of the important human pathogens Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydophila pneumoniae, is functional when expressed in the heterologous host Escherichia coli and demonstrated the presence of transcripts during the chlamydial developmental cycle. These findings indicate that the interaction between Parachlamydia-related endosymbionts and their amoeba hosts concerns energy parasitism similar to the interaction between pathogenic chlamydiae and their human host cells. Phylogenetic analysis of all known ATP/ADP translocases indicated that the genes encoding ATP/ADP translocases originated from a chlamydial ancestor and were, after an ancient gene duplication, transferred horizontally to rickettsiae and plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / enzymology*
  • Adenosine Diphosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Chlamydia / enzymology*
  • Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Rickettsia / enzymology*
  • Symbiosis*

Substances

  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases